The most flexible and affordable way into the world of pianos
Understanding Digital Pianos
For many pianists, with all the buttons and lights, digital pianos can seem like a bit of a mystery and it can be confusing to know what you should and shouldn't look for in a piano. Ultimately, digital pianos boil down to three key components: The action, the sound engine and the speaker system, each of which we will break down below.
The action on any piano, be it a grand, an upright or a digital piano helps determine how the piano both feels and responds. On digital pianos, the goal is to attempt to replicate that of a real acoustic as closely as possible.
Digital piano actions achieve this in varying levels of success. Many entry level home digital and portable pianos are made using plastic actions, which whilst suitable for beginners, as your playing progresses, can soon become a limitation. Towards the higher end of digital piano market, around the £2000 mark, digital pianos shift to begin using wooden components within their actions. This vastly improves the quality and response of the piano's touch, giving a far more acoustic piano feel. Many, such as the Grand Hybrid range by Casio, or Concert Artist Series by Kawai begin to replicate the action of grand pianos around this level, giving a highly responsive touch to help.
The Sound Engine
The sound engine on a digital piano is essentially the 'brain' of the instrument. Unlike an acoustic piano which generates a natural sound, a digital piano much 'create' its sound via sampling and playing back recordings of instruments.
As a key is pressed, a sensor is hit that determines how hard, soft, fast or slowly the key was hit. The piano's processor will interpret this data and play back the appropriate sound. When multiple notes are played at once, the same process is repeated - this is known as polyphony.
Acoustic pianos have unlimited polyphony whereas many digitals have between 64-258+ polyphony. A piano with lower levels of polyphony will be able to play less notes at once, meaning the player will lose aspects of their playing.
The Speaker System
Much like a speaker on a car radio or Hi-Fi system, digital pianos require speakers to produce their sound. As you move up the digital Piano market, the speaker systems improve and generally will feature either more sophsticated sound (via tweeters or better quality speakers). A digital piano's speakers are vital to playing as if your piano has a low quality speaker system, it is not uncommon for new players to adapt their playing (playing harder) in order to compensate for differences in sound when playing on a real acoustic.
Which Digital Pianos Should I Choose?
Considering the three components above, if any of the three is compromising your playing experience, then it is not the right piano for you. Generally speaking, for those looking to truly advance their playing, we would recommend considering your options carefully.
Like many consumer electronics, digital pianos do not hold their value as well as acoustic pianos and once a model is updated, can easily half in value. As your playing progresses you may also find that you can outgrow the capabilities of your digital piano. This is why we sometimes recommend many people either purchase a secondhand digital piano model or consider investing in an acoustic piano.
Convenient and full of functionality, digital pianos have risen to popularity over the past few decade as an accessible way to get started with piano or for those who cannot take an acoustic piano. They can be ideal for those living in flats or apartments. Digital pianos aim to replicate the acoustic piano experience. From portable pianos to incredible hybrid instruments, there are many options for digital pianos to fit any requirement.
Let us help you make the right choice.
The World's Leading Piano Brands
Clavinova has literally become a synonym for digital pianos. Yamaha offer a wide range of pianos from the portable P-series, through starter instruments such as Arius, to their Clavinova range.Explore
Casio has positioned itself as one of the leading digital piano manufacturers. Initially with its Privia and Celviano ranges, more recently in their collaboration with C.Bechstein.Explore
Legendary producer Kawai has earned itself a reputation as builder of some of the finest digital pianos. With a range from starter instruments to their Concert Artist, and Novus Hybrid.Explore
Save More With Our Personalised Bundle Builder
Match your piano to your home with our revolutionary Personalised Bundle Builder. Each piano product contains a link to our Personalised Bundle Builder where we have hand-selected a range of quality accessories including stools, stands, and headphones so you can pick exactly what you need to match to your home.
Have specific requirements? Contact us and our team will be happy to help.
Premium Home Digital Pianos
Our range of premium home digital pianos offers the most realistic touch and tone available in the digital world. Ideal for those looking to invest in their learning, advanced players who demand the touch of a grand piano, or those who want the finest sonic experience.Explore
Digital piano articles from our blog
How Long Do Digital Pianos Last?
Like any electronic item, digital pianos only last a set amount of time. As new models are released, they can become more difficult to repairs so it's important you choose carefully.Read More
Silent Systems On Upright Pianos
Many pianists opt for digital pianos because of the silent headphone functionality, but would rather have a real acoustic piano. With silent piano technology, this is not only now possible, but highly accessible! Learn more about silent pianos here.Read More
Wooden Vs Plastic Actions
Want to learn more about how actions can enhance your playing potential?
Read our guide to understanding the difference between wooden and plastic actions here.